Quarterly Newsletter Q2, 2010
to the MedNetwoRx 2010 2nd
quarter newsletter. As this comes out the Friday before
Mother's Day weekend we want to wish all of our "Mom"
readers a happy Mother's Day and we will encourage all of the rest of
you to do something nice for all the mothers
life this weekend.
have a number of exciting topics to share with you in this month's
newsletter, including an article on how MedNetwoRx
is using the new Apple iPad, an update on
PQRI, and some people exercising to be "green".
President and CEO Mark Johnson has had a
chance to review functionality from our hosted applications on an iPad. In this review he shares some of his
thoughts on one of the hottest selling items out right now.
"The iPad has been hyped in the media since its
introduction April 3rd, 2010. The fact of the
matter is that the iPad is simply a large
iPod Touch. Though with that increase in size comes additional
useable functionality that may turn it from being a toy to being a
potentially useful business device. As of now we have all of
our hosted applications running on it. This includes all of the practice applications,
all of the clinical applications including MedEvolve,
Centricity, Aprima, Allscripts, and Medflow.
We are also running Outlook e-mail and Windows desktop
sessions. We have some of our practices running the free Allscripts eRx
applications on it as well. From a usability perspective I have
found with a bit of practice that I can actually touch type on the
virtual keyboard. On a recent trip to Florida I sprang for the
$9.99 Wi-Fi connection on the plane ride and I was able to watch the
Bourne Identity, which I had downloaded from iTunes before boarding,
sent and receive e-mail throughout the flight and I was actually able
to troubleshoot and reboot a server that was in our data
center. On the con side of the equation it does take a bit to
type on the device and I am not sure that I would have wanted to
compose this article on one, though I could have. Also, with
fairly fat fingers I find it a challenge to "click" using
my finger on the appropriate part of the application's screen.
Another downside is that only one application can be run at a
time. That means that if you are running a clinical application
and go to check your e-mail, the clinical application is terminated
and you must re-start the application and re-log in, though this
issue is suppose to be resolved this
summer. That being said for $500 it is far less expensive than
most laptops and is vastly superior to a netbook. The battery
life is phenomenal (8+ hours in my testing), and the speed is very
good. I believe this is the direction that computing devices
are evolving to. As a practical point this is a good device for
e-Rx and can be used, in a pinch, to replace a computer as well. It is
also well worth the extra $29 for the case, not only does it protect
the iPad but it allows you to work at the
appropriate angle for typing.
you have an iPad and want to use it to gain
access to any of your MedNetwoRx
application call our help desk to set up an appointment to get your
device set up for $25, and $35 per month for application access, with
the first month free."
The iPad/iPod/iPhone configuration is fairly simple
and can be completed on a scheduled configuration in less than an
hour in most cases. This service will allow you to access any
application that is currently available to you through the Medinetwork or Rx webportal. Please
note that any prices mentioned in this article are subject to
Please contact the MedNetwoRx Tech Support line if you have any
questions about this configuration.
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What We're All About
Even though word of mouth and a solid reputation are a good foundation on which to build your customer service
business, it doesn't hurt to get to explain how your business
works. Last year our President and CEO Mark Johnson, got to do
just that with the fine folks at EHRtv
during the ACE '09 convention in sunny (or maybe not) Florida.
While the interview does at times get a bit technical, Mark does get
to give a good explanation of exactly the type of services that we
deliver and helps to give a kind face to the company brand.
Share the link, spread the word. Thank you EHRtv!
Free 2010 PQRI and ePrescribe
The Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will host a national provider conference call on the 2010
Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) and the electronic
prescribing incentive program Thursday, May 12 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00
p.m. EST. The agency will answer questions following a brief
presentation. This call requires registration.
<click here to
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Updates to Website: MedNetwoRx
Password Management Site
the constantly changing IT world, keeping up means staying current
with the latest cutting edge security and customer friendly
interfaces, as well as assuring that your employees are all well
versed in the newest software around.
ahead of the curve however means anticipating needs and staying in front
of market trends and knowing what the best choice of all the new
technology coming out is. With this in mind we have implemented
the MedNetwoRx Password Management
website. Attached to our new main website, the new password
management section is available here:
This new section of your website will allow
you to change your password and unlock your own account wihtout having to contact the Tech Support
line. Instructions for first time use are available upon
request and will soon be added to the help section on the site
enrolling today and let us know what you think.
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Feedback Report Changes
Eligible Professionals ( EP's) can now
request their PQRI feedback reports by calling their respective
carrier or A/B MAC Provider Contact. The reports are arranged by the
EP's individual NPI number, so EP's who are part of a group can
access their individual reports. The reports currently available
are the PQRI 2007 Re-run and PQRI 2008 Feedback. E-RX feedback
reports for data submitted in 2009 will be available in late 2010.
Eligible Professional will be asked for an email address when they
call to request the reports and the report will be e-mailed within 30
days of the request. If no report is available, the provider will receive
an email notification. If you are requesting information based
on TIN or Group Practice you
are still required to access the report via the PQRI portal after
first registering with IACS. Once you have received your id and
password you will be able to access your feedback report on line
through the secure portal.
portal site is http://www.qualitynet.org/pqri
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Human Power Plant
With all the
recent changes in eco-friendly trends around the world it is a
small wonder that colleges are starting to use their largest
resource to generate power; Students. It is an even
smaller wonder that currently the largest one in the world is in
December of 2009, Texas State University (San Marcos) launched a bold
new Green initiative in partnership with Florida-based ReRev, to utilize student power to feed
electricity back into the local power grid. Located in the
campus Student Rec Center, 30 specially equiped elliptical machines from ReRev were installed and each is capable of
100 Watt-hours every hour.
This is equivalent to running your work computer for 1 hour or
a standard light bulb for 5 hours.
several other universities have opened their own 'human power plants'
TSU's is still the largest, having more ReRev
machines than any other similar plant. The Associated Press had a chance
to interview Glenn Hanley, the director of campus recreation, "With 30 machines, we have more than anyone else in the
world, and we're the first in Texas." According to Hanley each machine
marked with a green balloon (see picture), has a device designed to
capture the kinetic energy generated by the user, the energy is then
converted into direct current.
This electricity is converted again to alternating current
(the same type that you use at home) by a gray box on the gym wall.
the price tag according to Hanley is a bit steep, (almost $20,000
paid for by Texas States's environmental
service committee and the Department of Campus Recreation with
support from the Associated Student Government) Hanley felt confident
that the system could pay for itself in about seven to eight years.
sustainability and reducing the cost of operating the campus are good
goals to work for, people like Blair Hartley have an even more
eco-conscious outlook on the project.
Blair is a recreation management graduate
student in charge of the project, who according to the Associated
Press is fighting for lower operational costs, while
simultaneously battling our declining power reserves. He says
that powering the university grid isn't really the point. It's trying
to make students more aware of how much power it takes to run their
devices and to encourage them to use less electricity when they can.
"It's more about changing the mind-set of the
30,000-plus students on campus," Hartley said.
"When you realize, 'I just worked out for 30 minutes, and it's
only enough to power a light bulb for about two hours,' it gives you
"If you left the lights on in your dorm room for
three hours, it would take about a week's worth of regular workouts
to recoup that," Hartley said.
Currently according to Pegasus News, the University of
North Texas will be attempting to one-up TSU by adding 36 ReRev machines into their own Pohl Recreation
Center. Erin Davis,
assistant to Office of Sustainability director Todd Spinks, said UNT
began the project with hopes that it would be the first university in
Texas to incorporate the technology. She said that Texas State
University "beat us to the punch" when it retrofitted their
30 elliptical machines in December. UNT will still outdo the
Bobcats, though, Johansen said.
"I don't know what it is, but I guess everything is
bigger in Texas after all," Johansen said,
laughing. "UNT will be our largest install to date with 36
elliptical machines and can proudly hold the title of 'World's
Largest Human Power Plant.'"
You can read more
about these stories at the following links:
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How To: The Basics of
a previous issue of our newsletter we discussed the reasons why IT
people recommend that you reboot your machine. In that article we mentioned that it
was usually the first troubleshooting step that an experienced IT
person will likely perform.
This time around we would like to take the discussion a little
deeper and discuss the troubleshooting process itself. Hopefully this
may shed some light on the reasons behind some of the admittedly
annoying questions that we ask toward the beginning of most calls to
term "troubleshooting", though rather generic in its actual
definition, has come to be associated primarily with the process of
fixing problems on a computer.
However, the process by which we, and most computer engineers
and technicians, work on these issues follows essentially the same
proven techniques used by other non-computer fields, including the
medical profession. Without
getting too technical and discussing the fundamentals of specific
methods like "Root Cause Analysis" and "Hypothesis
Testing" We will be discussing our basic ideology for
troubleshooting and give a brief explanation of the reasons behind
some of our most common questions and actions.
steps for troubleshooting virtually anything are essentially the
same and can be broken down into 4 simple steps:
the beginning of each troubleshooting attempt, information must be
gathered. Without this
information we can't even begin to guess what is causing a
problem. Most people who
contact any type of helpdesk will begin by explaining the immediately
apparent symptoms, this is very good because it saves
one or more questions and opens up the dialogue for your
troubleshooter to attempt to identify the problem's type. You may have heard one of our
helpdesk technicians ask the question, "So, this only happens
when you are doing _____?"
This type of question allows us to attempt to narrow the type
of problem you are having, meaning we can attempt to determine if the
problem you have involves an action or an object.
The next likely question that we will ask,
depending on how forthcoming the caller is with additional
information, is usually, "When did this problem start?" or
something similar. This type
of question, helps us to determine a frame
of reference for the environment that the problem was experienced in;
for example if the problem happens at a specific time of day (like
when they get back from a break or lunch) the problem may be a
time-out issue. This question
may not seem immediately relevant to the caller as they may have
experienced the issue countless times before and never reported it. Some people become frustrated with
this type of question.
After determining the general type of the problem and
the time frame that it occurred during, most troubleshooters will
then move onto a question like "Does this happen every time that
_____ occurs?" This is
probably one of the most important questions that can be asked in
these situations. As this
question determines the consistency that the problem has, this
question will likely shape the method by which your troubleshooter
will attempt to resolve the problem.
Consistent problems, or problems with repeatable effects,
usually have an immediately apparent cause and are therefore
generally the easiest to resolve.
Intermittent problems, or problems with no perceivable (or
measurable) pattern of repetition, are generally harder to resolve
due to their lack of an apparent cause. While this question may seem like
the troubleshooter is simply repeating themselves, this is actually a
clarification of the facts presented.
Many people become frustrated with this particular question
and may give erroneous or fabricated answers to this question, which
can lead to an unfortunately elongated troubleshooting process.
Once this basic information has been collected,
(depending on the level of detail received,) most troubleshooters
will be ready to begin narrowing the list of potential causes to
determine the best fix among the most basic of troubleshooting
steps. The first step usually
performed is of course the reboot.
(Note: in the medical profession this step takes the form
of the phrase 'take 2 of these and call me in the morning') As previously mentioned this
process helps to eliminate basic functioning of the computer as a
cause of the problem, while simultaneously allowing the computer
technician to evaluate the computer's performance during strenuous
If the problem continues past the reboot of the
program or the entire machine, then the troubleshooter will continue
to attempt to narrow the causes of problem by systematically
eliminating likely causes through structured experiments designed to
pass or fail based on a single or multiple criteria. In essence, you likely use this
same method to perform a variety of tasks in your own life and maybe
your profession. When you are
on the receiving end of this process please allow your troubleshooter
a little latitude while they attempt to make your life a little
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wishes of happiness, health, wisdom, prosperity, wealth and a happy
Mother's Day to all of our MedNetwoRx